Public Comment

2018 Moving to Work (MTW) Plan Amendment #2: New Program for Affordable Housing

May 29, 2018

The public comment period ended June 28, 2018

The Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) seeks comments and suggestions about a change it is considering to its housing programs. The change would help THA invest in housing units in order to make them affordable to low income households in Tacoma.  

Proposed Changes

The Tacoma housing market continues to see low vacancy rates and rising rents. The stock of housing that has been affordable to low income households is shrinking. THA has the ability to use its federal funding to find creative ways to make units available to low income households and to serve more households in the community. Under this proposal THA intends to try to identify up to 200 units in the market, owned by THA and/or private owners, which could be made available to low-income households in exchange for annual financial contributions to the property.

This program is different from THA’s tenant-based and project-based voucher programs. It is similar to the project-based voucher program in the way that the subsidy is tied to a property, as opposed to the tenant, and THA will regularly inspect units to ensure the units are safe for occupancy. The program is different from the project-based voucher program in three primary ways:

  • Like other programs, tenants must income qualify and have incomes below set standards but the tenant rents are fixed regardless of the tenant’s actual income. This provides predictable rent amounts for tenants rather than having tenant rents vary as tenant incomes go up and down. This makes the program easier to explain, understand and manage for both tenants and landlords. The fixed subsidy also removes a disincentive for tenants to increase their earned income because the tenant’s share of the rent will not increase if they earn more. On the other hand, it also means that a tenant’s rent share will not decrease if their income goes down. In this way, it is similar to THA’s HOP program but tied to a property rather than assigned to a tenant.
  • The subsidies to the owner would be set on an annual basis rather than varying month-to-month based on tenant rent calculations. This provides a stable and predictable and easy to administer income stream for the owners and predictable expenses for the housing authority. 
  • The owner will be responsible for advertising its vacancies, screening its tenants and verifying the income of the tenants. Tenants will not have a relationship with the housing authority. They will just realize affordable rents at the property level based on the subsidy that is being provided to the owner. The arrangement will offer tenants the tenant protections of THA’s other programs.

THA needs HUD authority to create a program like this. We are proposing a new activity in documents that THA would submit to HUD. These changes would show in an amendment to THA’s 2018 Moving to Work (MTW) Plan.  They begin on page 26 of Draft 2018 Moving to Work Plan that is posted with this notice.

Submit a Comment

We warmly welcome your comments and suggestions. You can share them with us in two ways. You can write or call us.  You can do that by email, mail or telephone to April Black at:

If you have comments, we need to receive them by June 25, 2018; 5:00 p.m.

Attend a Public Hearing

You can also tell us your views in person at public meetings:

June 13th
2:00 PM Tacoma Housing Authority – 902 S. L Street, Tacoma 98405
6:00 PM Tacoma Housing Authority – 902 S. L Street, Tacoma 98405

Deadline for Comments

THA’s Board of Commissioners will consider these changes at its public meeting on June 27, 2018; 4:45 PM at 6th Avenue Apartments, 2302 6th Avenue in Tacoma. You are also welcome to attend that meeting and comment then.